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Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"What should I do with dark, coarse, random, chin hairs?"


Is this hormonal and can it be helped with birth control?


Because you mentioned birth control in your question, I will assume that you are female (I apologize if this is incorrect). Facial hair in females is always abnormal. Sometimes a few random hairs on the face occur for unknown reasons and they can be plucked out from time to time.

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Other times it is caused by a process we call hirsutism (known as male pattern hair growth). Hirsutisim is associated with excess androgen hormone secretion. In many women, this excess androgen release is do to a common syndrome called polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). This is a syndrome which, in addition to causing ovarian cysts, results in facial hair growth, abnormal weight gain, and diabetes. In addition, women with PCOS have irregular periods and difficulty getting pregnant. Other causes of hirsutism are more rare, and consist of androgen secreting tumors of the ovary. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. He or she can evaluate your pattern of hair growth and determine if it is consistent with one of the hyper-androgenic syndromes like PCOS. If the description above fits you, then you likely have PCOS. In that case then regulating your endocrine system with birth control pills will be a part of your therapy. In addition, weight loss and exercise will help all your symptoms.

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